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Voice AI, next frontier in ambient computing, says GlobalData

May 2024 by GlobalData

As enterprises actively deploy voice AI to enhance user experiences and efficiency, the demand for the technology continues to soar, complimented by startup innovations. With the proliferation of smart devices with voice-enabled features across sectors such as automotive, healthcare, and foodservice, voice AI is fundamental in reshaping the human-machine interactions within the ambient computing ecosystem, observes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s Technology Foresights tool reveals compelling insights into the innovation landscape of intelligent voice assistants, one of the key elements of voice AI. Patent filings in this domain have surged from 1,889 in 2018 to 3,834 in 2023, showcasing a substantial growth trajectory and a growing interest and investment in voice-enabled solutions. Furthermore, the entry of 157 new companies in 2023, for a total of 589, brings to light the rising ecosystem and the rapidly emerging pace of innovation in this technology area.

Tejal Hartalkar, Senior Disruptive Tech Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With advancements in natural language processing (NLP) and contextual understanding, voice AI is poised to become the primary interface for ambient computing, which refers to the seamless integration of technology into our surroundings, facilitating intuitive and effortless interactions with interconnected devices and services. This evolution would enable anticipating user needs and deliver tailored solutions."

Voice AI demonstrates its potential to drive innovation across various sectors. For instance, offering personalized interactions and in-car assistance in automotive, and streamlining patient care and medical dictation in healthcare. Likewise, in foodservice, it enhances customer experience with seamless food ordering assistance.
An analysis of GlobalData’s Disruptor Intelligence Center highlights notable partnerships and product launches aimed at integrating and advancing intelligent voice assistant technology. Partnerships include Volkswagen and OpenAI, which focuses on integrating OpenAI’s ChatGPT into Volkswagen vehicles to enhance in-car voice assistant, and TomTom and Microsoft for developing an AI-powered conversational assistant for vehicles.
CommonSpirit Health launched its internal AI assistant, Insightli, to generate written content safeguarding confidential information. Also, Rush University System for Health is working with Suki to trial its AI assistant. Further, DoorDash has introduced a voice ordering system so that AI can answer customer calls to support restaurant operations.

Startups are leading innovation in this field by focusing on refining algorithms and improving NLP capabilities. Startups like PolyAI, which recently unveiled its customer-led voice assistant for modernizing customer support and engagement, and, which automatically answers phone calls for brick-and-mortar businesses, are attracting significant investment for their potential impact.

Hartalkar concludes: "As companies leverage the capabilities of voice AI, they must navigate crucial challenges such as privacy concerns regarding data collection, security vulnerabilities, and complexity in integration with existing systems. This is especially critical as the technology evolves towards more personalized, emotionally intelligent virtual companions that could deliver truly impactful experiences."

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